Sermon 18 October 2020

Dual Citizenship (Mt 22:15-21)

Call to worship

TiS 132 Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

The Twin Commandments

We come to God,
Knowing that we have failed to obey the call of Jesus,
to love God and each other with our whole being;
but we come also to a God who reaches out to us
with healing and reconciliation.
So in penitence and faith, let us confess our sins to almighty God.
After a time of silence

Let us pray
Merciful God,
our maker and our judge,
we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart,
we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves;
we repent, and are sorry for all our sins.
Father, forgive us.
Strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Declaration of forgiveness
The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15
Hear then Christ’s word of grace to us.
“Your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
Thanks be to God.

Scripture readings
Exodus 33:12-33
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

TiS 716 Father we adore you

We have dual citizenship. Citizenship in the world and the citizenship in heaven.
Remember, a dual citizenship gives us dual obligation to God and to Country.
In many Museums, we find Roman silver coin that dates back to the time of Jesus. The coin is called silver denarius. As you turn the coin in your hand you see at the face side which bears the image of Tiberius Caesar, who reigned at the time of Jesus public ministry. On the backside of the coin you will find the image of his mother Livia, holding an olive branch of peace.
Pharisees and Herodian’s are “strange bed fellows.” One opposes the tax to Caesar and the other for it. They formulate a shred question:
Then why did they join to ask Jesus the question?
To discredit Jesus in the public and to trap Jesus.
“Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?”
Jesus understood their trick and hints at the answer, when he says to them. “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me?
It is sad that some times, the religious leaders seem to be hypocrites. We have be cautious about such people.
They thought in whatever way, Jesus answers he has to support one and reject the other. If he say no taxes he becomes the enemy of the rulers. If he say “yes” he becomes the enemy of Pharisees and people who resented paying tax to foreign ruler. Either way Jesus will be caught or we can get rid of him. That is their plan formulating the question in cunning way.
When Jesus asked them if they had a silver coin, each one may have tried to search their pocket. That means to possess a coin means was to admit the Roman Obligation.
When they produced the coin, Jesus said,
“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God.”
The simple explanation is “give to Caesar what is his and what God is his.

What is the message for us?
We Christians have a dual citizenship.
We are citizens of two worlds-citizens of this world and citizens of heaven.
So we have obligation to each other.
Thus Peter tells Christians, in 1 Peter 2:17: “Have reverence for God, and respect Emperor.”
We pray: “Your kingdom come”
Jesus said, “You are the salt and light of the world.”
Heavenaization of the earth.
We pray: “Your kingdom come”
We follow Jesus and his way and beatitudes.
“You are the salt and light of the world.”

Heavenaization of the earth
We follow Jesus and his way and beatitudes.
Paul tells Christians Romans 13, 1, 7: Obey authorities…pay them what you owe them and show respect.
If there is any conflict we need to resolve.
We are also citizens of Heaven

Something more important belongs to God. Our total life.
My whole life.
Service to God implies service to people. Complement each other.
In this sense.
Christian worship is Eucharistic: offering our life as belonging to God, on the model of Jesus.
Revelation tells about our citizenship in heaven.
We believe in the eternal life. “Life after Life”
We are pilgrims on our journey.
We believe in the eternal life. “Life after this Life”
E.g. When Henry VIII refused permission to remarry by Rome, he did it on his own accord getting consent from his officials. Thomas More refused. His obligation and faithfulness was to God. You know the story.
We are citizens of the world and citizens of heaven.
Run and win the prize.

Heavenly Father Help us to give ourselves to you completely and not just for a few moments on Sunday morning. Heavenly Father you have promised that those who trust in You will not be disappointed. Help us to avoid doing things that only satisfy our conscience and needs and truly seek your will in all things, even when we do not fully understand the reasons or how uncomfortable or vulnerable we may become in doing so.
May we strive to be like your Son Jesus who gave Himself completely to You and Your will, not for His own sake but for the worlds sake, and may we follow in His footsteps.
We ask and pray these things always in His Glorious name Jesus the Chris our Lord and Saviour, Amen

Affirmation of faith. The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.




The Prayers of the People

Exchange of peace The people stand for the greeting of peace.
The peace of the Lord be with you
And also with you.

Communion hymn
TiS 497 Let all mortal flesh keep silence

The great thanksgiving prayer
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Leader: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Leader: Loving and Compassionate God, we give you praise for the care and graces, which you show toward all that you have made.  We thank you for acting to deliver us from the power of sin and death through Jesus Christ your only begotten son, our Saviour and Lord.  With all creation, and with all the company of the redeemed, we magnify your glorious name, evermore praising you, and saying:
People: Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory, Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one, who comes in the name of the Lord,
Hosanna in the highest.

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Breaking of the bread
Lamb of god
Jesus, Lamb of God,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world,
grant us peace.

Invitation and the Distribution of the Elements
Let us receive what we are; let us become what we receive.

Final prayer

TiS 569 Guide me, O thou great Redeemer


755 You shall go out with joy